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Monday, November 19 , 2018, 2:34 am | Fair 48º


Three Injured as Police Chase Ends in Crash in Santa Barbara

Pursuit began on Highway 101 and ended at busy downtown intersection

Firefighters and paramedics tend to a boy who was injured in the crash. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

Three people, including a child, were injured Monday afternoon when a stolen truck being pursued by sheriff's deputies crashed into two other vehicles in downtown Santa Barbara, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

A pursuit that began on Highway 101 near Carrillo Street shortly before 4 p.m. ended at Arrellaga and De la Vina streets when the vehicle — a white Chevrolet panel work truck reported stolen out of Ventura —slammed into a Jeep and a small SUV.

The incident began when Sheriff's deputies and Santa Barbara police officers followed the vehicle on Highway 101 as it exited at Carrillo Street, said sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

The vehicle turned south on Castillo Street, then re-entered the freeway northbound at Haley Street, before exiting at Arrellaga and heading toward the mountains.

Throughout the pursuit, the truck was traveling at a high rate of speed and blasting through stop signs and traffic signals, Hoover said.

After the crash, which propelled the jeep across the sidewalk and into a front yard, the shirt-less driver of the truck — identified as Evan Githens, 28, of Santa Barbara — fled on foot down De la Vina, "hopping fences and running through back yards," Hoover said.

A county helicopter was called in to help track the fleeing driver, Hoover said, and Githens was captured a short time later near De la Vina and Victoria Street.

Evan Githens

A woman and two children — boys 6 and 4 — were in the truck with Githens, and the older child was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries, Hoover said.

The woman, described by deputies as Githens' girlfriend, was released after being questioned, Hoover said.

The drivers of the other two vehicles involved also were injured, Hoover said, and were taken to the hospital. The nature and degree of their injuries were not available.

Githens was arrested, and will face charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property, child endangerment, felony evasion, and numerous traffic violations, Hoover said.

Firefighters aid a driver who was injured Monday afternoon when a police chase ended in a multi-vehicle crash in downtown Santa Barbara. (Urban Hikers photo)

He also is facing a parole violation, she said.

He was being held at the Santa Barbara County Jail, with bail set at $100,000.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Evan Githens, who was arrested Monday after a police chase and crash in Santa Barbara, is interviewed by a sheriff's deputy. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

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